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When Ceilings become Standards 8 March 2011

Posted by Dr Moose in Life, Ponderings, Rants, University.

It seems to be an inevitable fact of life that so often conditions that are set as the maximum under normal circumstances actually becomes the default, or standard position. After all, should a motorist drive below the national speed limit, which is perfectly legal, it’s likely they will get several cross drivers behind them (including me, to be honest).

So I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that the figure of £6000 annual university tuition fees, “sold” to us (maybe inaccurately) as the normal maximum figure, above which universities would be expected to provide further assistance to students of limited means, was being referred to variously as either the “standard” or even the “basic” fee.

In common language at least it would appear that once again a Ceiling has become a Standard… and that’s without knowing for certain what most university fees will be. Apart that is, from those “exceptional” cases (Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London and Exeter) who’ve already declared that they want the Full Monty.

I don’t despair. Despair is, by definition, pointless. But neither can I say that I am a Happy Bunny.



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